Founded in Britain as a means of bringing together those involved in the emerging academic discipline of design history, an early impetus was provided by the Design History Research Group. Essentially an informal group of lecturers and researchers with an interest in the history of design, it met irregularly often in relation to exhibitions and conferences. Of major significance were three major annual design history conferences launched in 1975, 1976, and 1977 held at Northumbria, Middlesex, and Brighton Polytechnics (all redesignated as universities in 1992). Northumbria Polytechnic and then the Design Council subsequently published the papers of the three conferences, entitled Design 1900–1960: Studies in Design and Popular Culture (1975), Leisure and Design in the Twentieth Century (1976), and Design History: Fad or Function? (1977). It was at the 1977 Brighton Conference that the Design History Society (DHS) was conceived. The DHS issued a regular newsletter and organized an annual conference and other events to give proceedings a firmer basis. It has a wide international membership and the Society's annual conferences have continued to the present day—the 2004 conference was in Belfast. The Journal of Design History, published by Oxford University Press, was launched in 1987.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.